Soverain Software, a Chicago-based patent-holding company that has been denounced on Capitol Hill, made tens of millions of dollars suing retailers with a patent on online shopping carts. That patent and two others were finally toppled when tech retailer Newegg won a key decision at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2013. Soverain appealed that defeat all the way to the Supreme Court, but the company’s legal pleas went nowhere.
Now Soverain is in what may be the final legal fight of its life—with its own lawyers. Soverain employed the law firm Jones Day, one of the nation’s largest, from 2004 until 2010. At that point, the mega-firm decided to stop representing Soverain.
A lawsuit (PDF) filed last month in Illinois state court shows that Soverain, which has no discernible business beyond filing patent lawsuits, continues to be in a serious dispute with its former law firm. In the lawsuit, Soverain claims that Jones Day’s withdrawal “was wrongful and resulted in damages to Soverain, and also the parties disagreed on what amount of fees (if any) were due to Jones Day at the time of its withdrawal.”